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October 28, 2008


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Jon Swanson

Cool is not caring what people think creatively enough that people care what you think.

Jon Bishop

Cool is being completely candid and transparent as individuals and companies while approaching life and business from a different angle than the mainstream thought process.

Sebastien Page

Cool is what never goes out of style

Steve Johnson

"Cool" is doing what you think is right and not caring what others think.

Scott DeYager

Cool is knowing when to care and when not to care.

jon burg

Cool is the art of being rather than the act of emoting. However, those that we perceive as cool attain their status due to their ability to transmit a state of absolute being into a statement of absolute presence.

Josh Sternberg

"Cool" will always be The Beatles and The Stones, Jimi and E.C., Kerouac and Ginsberg, Hitchcock and Kubrick. And most importantly, "cool" will always be my soon-to-be wife and my parents.

Allyson Robison

Cool is making the most of every day regardless of what anyone else thinks. That sort of self-confidence entices others to follow, usually without realizing it, thus making you "cool."

Kevin Mason

Cool defies explanation. When something is cool, you just feel it deep down in your soul!

David Fisher

Cool is being yourself so much that everyone else wants to be you.

Allen L. Kelly

Cool is the essence of what everyone wants to be, but no one ever is. Once you realize this, you are it.

Joel Johnson

Cool is the nudge that gets us to look up from where we are and to imagine ourselves a little closer to who we dream we could be.

Neat idea, Del and David. I think we all want to associate ourselves with coolness. There's an ideal in it that we want to be a part of, even if that which is cool is different to the next guy.

Karen Brindley

You have the cool factor when guitar heroes endorse you. How cool is that!

Thuan Nguyen

Cool is walking in a room and all the girls wanna sleep with you and all the guys wish they were you.

Skip Reardon

Cool is a matter of attitude, style and influence. Cool changes in the way it is perceived, but let's face it, cool never "really" changes.


Cool is when people understand that you are operating on a completely different level, but think that you are a perfect fit with them.


"Cool" is the final piece of the puzzle; the one that is overlooked and skipped over until everything else falls into place.

Scott Young

Cool is my most extravagant, fantastic, and unrestrained imaginations. Show me something that when I see it I go for a ride in my head, something that breathes life into my dreams and adds dreams to my life - that's cool.

Chris Plamann

Cool is the shirt you want to wear, the place you want to go, the car you want to drive, the guitar you want to play, the brand you want to live. Cool is aspirational - attainable for few, pursued by many, and holds value in its inherent scarcity.

Benjamin Krueger

In a retreat from the mainstream, it embraces an idea. Independent and inspired, Cool sacrifices itself for all to partake.

Martin Eliasson

My definition of cool:

"mainstream rebellion"

Example matrix:

non-mainstream & non-rebellion: think of someone near you, a neighbour or someone who never did anything remarkable in his whole life (not cool).

mainstream & non-rebellion: Dick Cheney (not cool)

non-mainstream & rebellion: Bin Ladin (not cool)

mainstream & rebellion: Yves Saint Laurent (one of the coolest men ever).

Not only persons can be cool. Harley Davidson is cool because it really is mainstream yet there is the motorcycle rebel connection. Fender is cool because guitars have been primary tools of rebel music. Keyboards in general have never been used in any uprising of any sort, so Korg cannot be cool. Clavia might be cool. Only synthesizers used by groups like the Prodigy have a chance of being really cool. Like the 303.

Josh Peters

I think everyone's definition of cool is different based on our personalities. For instance I like pirates, alternative art, mma, and horror movies. I think that stuff is cool and the people who excel in these areas are cool. I want to write a horror movie script, be a great artist, play a totally sweet pirate in a movie, etc and for those reasons the people I see doing the stuff I want to do I think are cool. So my 1 sentence definition of cool would have to be:

Cool is the passion, the envy, or the desire we have of someone's acheivements that we want for ourselves.

Gavin Heaton

Cool cuts a swathe through the mundane yet is unaware of its impact on the world around it.


Cool was seeing ZZ Top recently!


What is cool? You know it when you see it; and if you have to ask, it's not. You can't fake cool-either it is, or it isn't. And cool doesn't care what other people think; cool is cool in and of itself not because people say it is. Which is why some things that almost no one knows about (think great garage band) are cooler than things MM says are cool.

Jared Kohlmann

That which has transcended the normal or mundane and reached a higher level of social desire and acceptance. It means rising above the status quo to become wanted, talked about, and revered.

Philip Sheldrake

Cool is a known unknown.

paolo bianchi

"Cool" is surfing the wave at its highest peak.

Paul Dettman

When you see something that is cool, you instantly become an inch taller and a pound lighter. Cool just makes you feel... great.

Harry Spear

Cool is, no more sickness, no more dying, no more crying, no more pain.

Tim Kaschinske

For me, Cool is a moment in time where everything comes together in such a perfect way that a magnificent experience is created. In those moments, the only possible response is "Cool!"

Tom Barrett

cool is knowing that being yourself can attract anybody. It's being in the know without trying too hard.

Ryan Treft

Definition: Coolness is in the eye of the beholders (plural). There is no objective coolness; it's whatever a group wants to be part of.

Hence- a marketer should identify the group(s) that might identify with them and leverage the image of another company already seen as cool in the eyes of that group.

At Zoobies (Zoobies.com) we 2 co-branding projects in the works with companies that are cool. Cool to the group that matters to us.

Dan Phelan

cool is a state of mind that can only be achieved by accident

gavin Davie

Cool is the act of not trying to be cool; those who try fail. Ultimately it is being yourself and hoping those around you like who you are.

Dave Smagula

The concept of "cool" is a transformative one which enables people to successfully tap into some of their baser emotions and instincts without fear of reprisal in their otherwise plain everyday lives.

"Cool" allows one to indulge, even bask, in an image of vanity, pride, braggadocio, aggression, gamble, sexuality, maybe even recklessness simply by virtue of wearing a leather jacket, or playing a guitar, or reading a book, or speaking the slang, or playing a game, or drinking a drink, or smoking a smoke, or wearing a label. Powerful stuff, this cool.

Ron Ploof

Cool is an attitude carried by an individual who remains unfazed by the turmoil surrounding them. With a simple wink of an eye, a “carrier of cool” lets you know that everything’s gonna be okay.


Cool is what you are, when no one else is looking

Mike Horowitz

Cool is saying "fu*k you" to what everyone else thinks, and doing what you think.

Scott Overpeck

To be cool is to be influential to the point that you are emulated. To be liked to the point that you have fans. To be trusted to the point that you are sought out.

Whether a brand or a person cool is a state of being that cannot be attained through trying to be cool but rather through having the right mix of qualities coming together in such a way that the masses can connect in a meaningful way.


Cool is the center spot of that constantly swaying tightrope walk between confidence and arrogance.

Chris Moody

Cool is putting your paycheck on the line for something innovative that you believe in. It's the this can change the world mentality that pushes you to use any resources available to make the world a better, more innovative place...that's cool.

John Carson

Cool is a few steps away from being fool.

Kare Anderson

This book is idea-packed, real - plus a fun read. I came across Del when we both spoke at NAMM - the biggest music industry conference where I offered ways to partner. Here's more for any kind or size of consumer-serving organization

Colin Clark

Cool occures where brilliance and indifference meet. Cool is the most amazing thing you've ever seen in your life that refuses to acknowledge it's own impact. (sidebar - cool would also be me winning that telecaster. I haven't bought a new guitar in a long freakin time.


Cool doesn't have to talk about it, explain it or worry about it. Cool just is.

Jeri Bjorling

Experiencing the power of simple, and particularly those things that make you smile - that's cool.

Andrew Brown

I was told that I was cool while walking home in my 'pleather is better than leather jacket', when some biker dudes raved about my pull string plush toy lobster key chain that swings outside my pocket, thats attached to 20 other keychains that only has one tinkerbell key attached to it which is for my grandma's house where I live.

Bobby Lehew

Cool is a personal metamorphose: when excellence becomes a protest against mediocrity, life becomes a calculated exploit, and success becomes a state of mind; when you live intentionally, love magnanimously, and leave regrettably - you are cool.

Jaculynn Peterson

Cool is communicating and connecting on a level that transcends languages, cultures, boundaries, barriers, and inhibitions of the heart – just like music.

Marc Girolimetti

Am I now cool by association because of the acknowledgment I received in "Eyeball Wars"? If so then that's way cool. ;-)

Brett Wohl

Cool is:
Always remebering who you are, and always knowing where you are going.

Joe Gill

Cool is a feeling someone or something radiates that positively impacts your soul.

Nico Giorgio

Cool is the casual accumulation of admiration through attitude, image, and personality.

Mark Smiciklas

Cool is natural style or attitude that engages without trying too hard.

Teresa McCrerey

Cool is a spectacular, dreamlike life boat floating in a sea of mundane conformity – we can only hope it will rescue us one day.

Siobhan Bulfin

Cool is when an idea becomes iconic and accepted amongst the tribe. It’s origins are the source, it’s future is mutant. Cool is about living the dream, being honest with yourself and straight with everyone else.

Siobhan Bulfin, Wellington, New Zealand

Bryan Bliss

Cool is knowing exactly which rules and conventions to bend , having the confidence to try your own way and the strength to succeed.

Cool is more than being trendy or fashionable but excelling at inspiration and creativity in a way that invigorates the observers otherwise dreary and uninspired lives.

thanks and take care,
Bryan Bliss

Mark R. Hinkle

Cool is an intangible aesthetic tempered by eccentricity colored by indifference.

Kim Garretson

Cool is your business card with simply a Wordle of a speech from The Big Lebowski like this one: http://tinyurl.com/66ohv9

vivek achary

"cool" is what makes people "hot"

Luke Spear

Cool is being 14 years old and knowing my dad has given me the best gift ever by teaching me to love and play music. With my music I can communicate with anyone.

Josh Sommermeyer

I'm too cool for this contest...

Jon Mierow

Cool is being comfortable with who you are no matter who you are with or what you are doing.


Cool is living exactly how you wish, making others wish they were you.


Cool is the front edge of the wave, the first to shore.

Pete Barry

Cool is what happens when envy and desire are emotionalized.

Aviva Jorstad

Cool is an individual's subjective interpretation of a positive aspiration; the reflection of qualities one admires, which is unique to one's own values, taste, and preferences. In essence, cool is one's own.

Tina Estrada

No telling when it will arrive or to what degree, but it's there, within all of us, and that's cool.

Tim Otis

The exhaled utterance immediately following the silent, inhaled awe. Its dictation is best achieved by French Rabbis.

Tim Otis

The exhaled utterance immediately following the silent, inhaled awe. Its dictation is best achieved by French Rabbis.

Bill Tveit

Cool, you'll know when you see it. It's in a walk, word, handshake and smile, and leaves a lasting impression and a want for more.


Cool makes everyone want to be cool, to do cool, to live cool, to have cool, but it doesn't make them feel like they are only part of the herd.

Kris Tassoni

Cool is a way of being. It is walking into a room and changing the mood in that room, merely with an attitude, style, or persona; it is the use of talent, whether artistic or humorous or giving or intelligent, for the good of something or someone.

David Meerman Scott

Thank you to all who entered.

The challenge is now closed, The best responses will be judged by Shannon Vargo of Wiley and will be announced in the first week of November.

Of course, feel free to comment about The Cool Factor or this post in general at any time.

Del Breckenfeld

I have enjoyed these comments on "cool" so much. In my book, "The Cool Factor", I do state that for someone or something to be considered cool they have to have two things going for them: first they have to be imbued with the rebel spirit, and second, they have to be unique when compared to the norm of the day. Once they are discovered and branded cool by a wider audience, they can become part of the "eternal cool" like Steve McQueen, Miles Davis, Fender, Harley-Davidson and of course, ZZ Top.

Thanks to David for inviting me to participate and I appreciate everyone's comments and observations.

Justin Brock

Hate I missed the cutoff date. We were driving from Minnesota to Mississippi. But here's a shot anyway:

"Cool is the aura of unself-conscious assurance, the I-am-who-I-am disposition that unsettles all the insecure people around me."

Thanks for your time at the seminar . . . and for playing the Dead.

Jerom the Dutchman

Cool is when a man or a woman just lives his/her life happily and helps others to do so, despite all the bad stuff that happens around them.


Brand as a facilitator makes me think about utility and relevance. Two core pillars that i think should apply to any marketing effort these days.

David Meerman Scott

NRI - good point. Thanks for the comment

Guitar Reviews

Man, I love Gibbons' guitar. Fender has not let me down yet <3

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